Melitta Muszely

Melitta Muszely (born 13 September 1927) is an Austrian operatic soprano and a voice teacher. She made a career based in Germany, mainly at the Hamburg State Opera with guest contracts to the Komische Oper Berlin and the Vienna State Opera, among others. She took part in world premieres, and performed internationally in Europe. She appeared as all four female characters in Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen in the legendary 1958 production by Walter Felsenstein, and sang recitals until 2008.

Melitta Muszely
Muszely as Antonia in Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen, 1958
Born (1927-09-13) 13 September 1927
EducationWiener Musikakademie
  • Operatic soprano
  • Voice teacher


Muszely's family originally came from Hungary. She was born in Vienna, and studied at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien: piano with Roland Rautenstrauch, and voice with Maria Freiberg-Marx.[1]

In 1950, she made her debut at the Stadttheater Regensburg. In 1952, she moved to the Opernhaus Kiel, and from 1954 to 1968 she was a member of the Hamburg State Opera.[1] There she took part in several opera premieres, including Ernst Krenek's Pallas Athene weint[2] (1955) and Klebe's Figaro läßt sich scheiden (1963).[3]

Muszely had several guest contracts, among others with the Berlin State Opera and the Komische Oper Berlin.[1] In 1958, she portrayed four female characters (Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, Stella) in Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen at the Komische Oper Berlin in the legendary production by Walter Felsenstein.[4][5] In the opera, the poet tells three stories of frustrated love while waiting for Stella. In 1970, she again played the four figures in Felsenstein's DEFA film version of the opera.[6]

Muszely appeared at the Vienna State Opera from 1963 to 1967,[1] in the Mozart roles Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She also appeared there as Marzelline in Beethoven's Fidelio, as Marie in Smetana's Die verkaufte Braut, in the title role Violetta Valéry in Verdi's La Traviata, and as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss.[7] International guest performances have taken Muszely to the Zurich Opera House and opera stages of Paris, Venice and Lisbon and to the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals.[5]

Muszely was also a lieder and concert singer, and a voice teacher. She appeared in recitals until 2008.[1][5]


Muszely became known mainly as a coloratura soprano but also performed lyric soprano repertoire. She was regarded as a specialist for Mozart roles, but also for characters by Richard Strauss, such as Sophie and the title role of Arabella. She also performed in rarely performed operas, such as the title role in Busoni's Turandot.[8]


Muszely's musical work, which has been transmitted through radio recordings, live recordings and records, has been partially re-released on CD in recent years. Muszely also recorded numerous operettes for radio, often as a partner of Fritz Wunderlich: Lehár's Der Zarewitsch and The Land of Smiles, Leo Fall's Die Rose von Stambul.[9][10]




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